Thursday, December 29, 2011
Turkish airforce kills 30 smugglers by mistake
Turkish warplanes killed 30 people in an air strike in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border overnight, apparently mistaking smugglers for Kurdish militants, a local official told Reuters on Thursday.
Turkish warplanes strike militant targets regularly in the region in their battle against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas, and have stepped up raids after a PKK attack in August.
"We have 30 corpses, all of them are burned. The state knew that these people were smuggling in the region. This kind of incident is unacceptable. They were hit from the air," said Fehmi Yaman, mayor of Uludere in Sirnak province.
The Turkish government was not immediately available for comment.
"There were rumors that the PKK would cross through this region. Images were recorded of a crowd crossing last night, hence an operation was carried out," a security official said.
"We could not have known whether these people were (PKK) group members or smugglers," he said.